Those who own Apple devices around the world are familiar with what is Cydia, jailbreaking, unlocking, Installous etc. and out of all these, jailbreaking and Cydia are most common terms.
Although these terms are very popular in the iOS community, many new users are not familiar with them which they ought to. In this article we will discuss about the basics of Cydia, why is it used, and also other helpful information related to it.
What is Cydia?
Alright, first thing first. Let’s understand what is Cydia.
Cydia is a third party independent installer application on all iDevices. It was developed by Jay Freeman also known as Saurik, and it is very much similar to the App Store which is Apple’s official app installer.
The difference is that it gives apps and tweaks for almost free of charge or very little of it. These apps are not found in Apple’s official App store.
For example, you can set only audio ringtones for incoming calls in iOS but there is a free tweak called VUZIQ in Cydia through which you can set video ringtones for incoming calls in your iDevice.
Another wonderful app from Cydia is Installous which is considered best Cydia product as it will allow you to download all apps for free.
However, Cydia is not available on normal iPhone. For that, you will need to jailbreak your device which is discussed further.
What is the Need of Cydia?
Many people would wonder why do we need Cydia if there is already a similar official App store. This is because many Cydia apps are not approved by Apple as they do not fall under their guidelines.
In order to get these apps, we will need to jailbreak our device. We have discussed jailbreaking in detail here. In short, you can understand jailbreaking as the process of hacking your iOS device to bypass any restrictions and allow your to install unauthorized apps. Once you have jailbroken your device, you can install Cydia on it.
Structure of Cydia
If you are willing to install Cydia to your phone, you need to know about its basic structure. You will find five tabs when you open Cydia, which are briefly discussed below:
Home: At Home you will find some sponsored apps, sources FAQ, account information and some important settings.
Changes: You will find all new updates and programs in this tab. This tab is updated every time you open Cydia.
Sections: All the apps are divided into various categories and these can be seen in this tab. You can select your category and start searching for your app.
Manage: Through this tab you can manage Cydia, add repositories and resources, remove programs and get access to all the storage.
Search: If you already know the name of the app or tweak you want to install, hit the search tab and enter the name to start searching.
Sometimes, Cydia takes time for reloading when you open it, which is because it stores all package catalog in your iDevice and it gets updated everytime you open it. Well, the newest version of Cydia is very fast and you will rarely get reloading issues.
What are Cydia Repositories?
A Cydia repository is an online hub where all the tweaks and apps developed by various developers are released for quick installation or access. BigBoss and ModMyi and two such repositories where most of apps and tweaks developed are released. There are some other repositories also other than these two.
Is Cydia Safe?
To be honest, Cydia sounds wonderful but it is not completely safe. This is because every jailbreak app gets approval on Cydia store which leads to the chances of malware apps being approved.
Therefore, whenever you want to download any app or tweak from Cydia, make it a point to read about it on the internet before installing it. Still use only trusted repositories to download apps such as BigBoss and ModMyi.
One more thing to take care of here is the compatibility issues with the tweaks. Sometimes you download some apps or tweaks which are not iOS compatible due to which your phone gets hung and you end up reformatting it.
To avoid such situations, read the reviews and FAQs about the app from Internet before installing it. But in the end, you must have Cydia for your iDevice.
How to Purchase Apps from Cydia?
Apart from the free apps, Cydia also offers some paid apps and tweaks which really spice up your iDevice. To get these apps from App store you need to have iTunes Apple ID. But Cydia allows you to login through Facebook or Twitter and payments are even easier as you can pay via Paypal or Amazon gift cards.
One thing you should keep in mind that you can NEVER download Cydia without jailbreaking your phone. Do not believe those who say it can be done. Otherwise Cydia is something which cannot be ignored once you have jailbroken your phone.